Need help understanding SQF Certification? Get the full guide on how to properly achieve it!
This guide includes:
- An introduction to SQF
- An overview of the process
- Specific links to the pages you need instead of searching on the web
- An explanation of audit types
- A summary of grading criteria
Types of Certification
The latest code SQF Code, edition 8 was implemented in January 2018 and can be used for all sectors of the food industry. Based on the sector you work in you will have a code in which you are graded against such as SQF Food Safety Code for Manufacturing.
Each company is at a different point in its food safety journey. For this reason, SQF has created different modules and types of certification from beginner to advanced. Once you chose the type of certification that is right for your company, you will be able to see the modules that may be applicable to your company based on your production and processes.
Something to note is that no matter which module you choose, “all manufacturers are required to implement the manufacturing system elements plus the applicable Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) module”.
Understanding the Audit Process
The initial certification audit is comprised of a desk audit prior to moving forward with the facility audit. Safe Food Certifications requires 30-day separation between the desk and facility audit to close out non-conformances assigned during the desk audit before moving forward with the facility audit.
Both the desk and facility audits are an assessment of the site’s food safety and/or quality systems according to SQF Code, edition 8. Compliance with the requirements of the standard is determined through specific activities. Objective evidence (i.e., procedures, records, interview responses, direct observations, etc.) resulting from activities described below shall be collected by the auditor for the purpose of documenting compliance or non- compliance to Code requirements in the audit report.
With this SQF Certification Guide, you will gain a clear understanding of the step by step process of getting certified for the first time from your first desk audit to recertification.